Want High Def support in your Netbook?


nvidia-ionNVIDIA hopes you do want high-definition support in that netbook and just to tease you, they’re showing it off over at Notebooks.com. In the video demonstration, they’re driving a large HDTV from a netbook that pairs an Intel Atom and the NVIDIA GeForce 9400M. This is the already announced ION platform of course, and I saw a similar demonstration from AMD with an ATI GPU as well; the HP dv2 was driving a 1080p Blu-Ray disc and it looked incredible. Once I get a review unit, I’ll hook it up to my 60-inch HD set and give you look.

The question remains though: do you want high-def support in your netbook? Actually, the real question is: do you want to pay for it since it’s clearly a value-add feature that will affect the price. This all revolves around the netbook and notebook market in general as well. As features get added to the small devices, prices get pushed up into the standard notebook range. That’s not a problem in and of itself, but perhaps the “netbook” market really is re-defining the notebook market as many of you think. We seem to be heading from the portable, basic tasks a netbook can provide and moving more towards cramming features into small notebooks. Not necessarily a bad thing, but interesting to watch. In HD, no less.



Well with a chipset like that I could at least play some half life 2 on my netbook all I can play from my steam account on my 1000h is Lumines at the moment. It even struggles with snes emulators at times. I´m one to pay a little more for a really 3d chip set even if it isn´t top of the line.


I am definitely interested in HD video on a netbook (especially on a tablet version)–but only with HDMI, DVI or whatever other HD-capable ports I don’t know about. In fact that’s the feature I’ve been waiting for: I want to be able to bring a netbook home, hook it up to an HDTV and watch a movie. Actually I’d like to know if people are already using netbooks in this way to watch 720p video, via the VGA connection–my two-year old HP laptop doesn’t seem to be able to, and it seems more powerful than most netbooks…


I think this is a “must have” for business people, who want to watch a HD movie on a plane or at a hotel or who want to give a high quality multi-media presentation, during a customer visit.

The $50 difference is nothing, for such a quality multi-media improvement. The ION will also help to justify a “premium” netbook segment, which the netbook vendors can use to improve margins.

John in Norway

As you asked, I’ll answer your question. No. I’m not even bothered about HD on my 3 year old 37inch plasma.


big deal, many highpowered GPU’s could be paired with the Atom. it’s NOT about performance, it’s about performance-per-watt. if this thing cant meet its performance claims at extremely low power requirements than its no accomplishment at all.


The guy said the incremental price delta is $50. That’s nothing.


Not going to be top of the list of features that I check out for my next mini device.
Highly unlikely that I would ever use it.


Hey, I just wrote a comment about this earlier. I think HD video is the only thing most people would miss if they had a netbook. That is, most people don’t do much on a netbook that bogs down the processor, but then they fire up Youtube HD and it doesn’t work.

I think HD is more important for “nettops” or whatever the desktop equivalent of the netbook is. I like seeing these new Atom based NAS devices with 1 to 2 GB of RAM (like the one from Asus at CES), or the new MSI nettop. The only thing that’s holding me back is the video performance.

Netbook Fan

The HD video, slightly bigger screen sizes and more performance are fine.

But I’d be reluctant to sacrifice battery life to get those.


720p HD video will already play well on a 2133 mini note, and with the 1280×800 screen you get to see every pixel of it too. And while it won’t do 1020p, the 2133 will handle every other video format out there, be it WMV-HD, VOB or quick time.

While 1020p is all the rage and looks great on a 60 inch screen, 720p is just as impressive, and actually plays and looks much better on a netbook’s small screen. I’ve been exceedingly satisfied with the 720p playback on my 2133, it looks much better that regular DVD playback on a larger 14 inch notebook.

I’m anticipating the 2140 may make 1020p playable, but it’s screen won’t support playback at the native res, and lacks a HD output with HDCP. One of the great things about the HP netbook is that they have full-size 2.5″ drives, giving 500GB of storage for a/v files.

If portable multimedia is your dream for a netbook, wait for 2010. By then, you’ll get a nice Medfield netbook with a roomy 2TB drive in it, and who knows what else.


I don’t see why not.

The way Moore’s Law is currently playing out, we don’t get a lot more clock speed, but we do get a lot of transistors per die for smaller size/cost (Atom) or extra features.

As long as there’s effective power gating to keep features from sucking power when I’m not using them, I don’t mind having them.

Moreover, I’m intrigued by the possibility of things like OpenCL, that require a more capable GPU than the 945’s that Intel keeps using.

However, I’m displeased by nVidia’s insistence on keeping their device interfaces secret, so they don’t work well with open source. That’s one thing Intel has going for it.


Maaan, to tell you the truth, I DON’T CARE about the HD support!

But the moment I saw this thing running COD 4, I know I’d love to have it.

And IF it will only make netbooks $50 more expensive, then FOR SURE I’ll buy one!
… ‘cos if we look @ASUS N10; the one with GF 9300M costs 150 € MORE!?!
(and because of this pricing, I find if hard to believe, that the NEW GF 9400M will cost 100 € less then GF 9300M)


I’m sold on the concept. I put a 500GB hard drive in my Wind and triple boot OSX, Windows 7, and Ubuntu. I have 20″ screen to plug into at home and sub-3 lb computer to carry around when I’m out. I never have to worry about whether my mobile device is in sync with my home computer or whether or not I will have internet access to get to stuff on the cloud.

My one guilty pleasure in the Sims series of games. Sims2 runs okay on the wind, but Sims3 won’t (the minimum requirements are already out and the GMA 950 isn’t on the list). Sims doesn’t require a big gaming rig, but it does require some 3D power. I would love to keep my current set up of very small travel machine and nice big screen at home and be able to play my game too.

Kevin C. Tofel

Hamish, from that viewpoint, you’re right. But I think Gavin sees where it’s headed: the companion netbook travels with you all day. Then at home, you hook it up to your HD set and it becomes part of your digital home as well.

I’m not necessarily sold on that concept, but that’s how I see it playing out.

Gavin Miller

Well, perhaps we’re seeing the netbook become less of a companion device and more of a main device. High power on the move and then docked at home on a big 24″ display.

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